February 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
“Bournemouth. Branksome Tower Hotel. Steamy tropical atmosphere, avenues of villas hidden in evergreens; the hotel with long vine-hung veranda and lawn sloping to the sea, dimly visible through a group of leaning pine-trees. The pines here with their undergrowth of rhododendron and arbutus form the northernmost tip of the maritime forest which stretches from Hossegor, near Bayonne, by the Landes and Royan, the Ile d’Oleron, La Rochelle, the Vendee coast, La Baule and the Landes of Brittany, to expire at Bournemouth and Le Touquet. Across the sea lies the unspoilt, uninhabited paradise of the Isle of Purbeck* with its sandy beaches and chalk promontories.
Led by chance to discover the hanging foot-bridge over Alum Chine. Walking over the quivering planks I felt rooted, as in a nightmare, to the spot in the centre where the asphalt road lies directly underneath, a leaden water-snake uncurling through pine and giant hemlock. To drag one’s sticky feet across was like plunging through a bog. What a place to make away with oneself or some loved one!”